GALLIPOLIS — Though schools reopened this week across Gallia County, many adult-oriented activities are still on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the French Art Colony (FAC) hoping to provide a fun and safe painting class for adults this week.
“We’ve been wanting to have an adult class for a while, but with everything going on it’s kind of hard to plan anything too far ahead,” Rachel Harper, executive director of the FAC, said. “And, because we have the outdoor pavilion we’re able to safely dismiss people, and we have the space for it.”
The art class, called “Art Uncorked,” will take place on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Larry Bragg, a local artist from Mason County, will be teaching the class, and participants will paint a piece titled “French Blue,” of a vase of blue flowers. Light snacks will be offered, as well as wine, water, and soda. The cost to participate is $40 dollars, and covers all materials, food, and the class itself.
Harper hopes the event is the first of many to follow.
“What we’re wanting to do is try to provide for adults classes throughout the year, and that was one of our goals going into this year, but obviously the pandemic changed things quite a bit,” Harper said.
Though the pandemic has prevented many local events from taking place this year, including beloved traditions like Rockets Over Rio, the Rio Grande Annual Bean Dinner, River Rec, the Mothman Festival, and the Bob Evans Farm Festival to name a few, Harper hopes that classes will still be able to continue, as they follow state safety guidelines and can be held entirely outdoors.
“We’re fortunate to have the outdoor space, because not only are we socially distanced, but also I think the public feels safer outdoors,” she said. “It’s just a better feel for right now.
“As a nonprofit for the arts, we really want to provide some fun, creative events for all ages during this pandemic, but we have to take safety as the most serious priority. So even though we have lots of fun ideas, when it comes down to it, they haven’t all been possible. But thankfully working with Larry we’ve figured this out, and hopefully we can have some more.”
Though this event is open to adults over 21, Harper said that future events may not be, and that some will be aimed at teenagers as well.
“We’ll see how this one goes, but we’ve got high hopes for it,” Harper said.
The French Art Colony is located on First Avenue in Gallipolis.
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.